Case Study 3

These assignments are designed to provide you an opportunity to think about how you would handle specific public administration issues. There is no right or wrong answer for the assignments, per se. Your memo should have the following sections:

  • Central Issue
  • Major Factors in Development of Policy/Management Problem
  • Alternatives for Resolving the Problem
  • Author’s Recommended Solution and Rationale
  • Lessons for Public Administration

Grades will be determined on:

  • Ability to present the relevance of the case, main facts, key issues, theoretical relationships, and practical lessons;
  • Ability to adequately address the five sections;
  • Ability to support your arguments; and
  • Ability to write in a professional fashion.

Case Study #3: HKS 1477.0 (Oklahoma’s Milestones Reimbursement System: Paying for What You Get)

Recommended questions to address or to consider:

  1. Whether or not you believe that Milestones is on balance an improvement over the previous system for paying vendors of employment services for the severely disabled, assess its greatest strengths relative to the status quo ante.
  2. Whether or not you believe that Milestones is on balance an improvement over the previous system, assess its greatest weaknesses and risks.
  3. The vendors providing employment-related services for the severely disabled in Oklahoma, both prior to and after the 1996 reforms, were private, but not-for-profit. Was this an essential constraint under the earlier input-based contracting system? What would have been the advantages and disadvantages of for-profit private suppliers under the pre-1996 fee-for-service system? Is the case for restricting contracts to non-profits (instead of contracting with both non-profit and for-profit vendors) stronger, or weaker, with the new Milestones system? Why?
  4. What are the characteristics of a social service function that make it most suitable to outcomes-based contracting? What characteristics make outcomes-based contracting inappropriate? Under what general circumstances is inputs-based private contracting (rather than outcomes-based contracting, on the one hand, or direct governmental service delivery, on the other) likely to be the most suitable way to deliver public services?
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